Grandpa: 2023-04-10

“What do know about your grandmother?” My partner, Kevin, sat next to me in the booth of the small coffee shop across from the station. He pitched his voice low despite the quiet of the early evening patrons.

“Not as much as I should. Thinking back on it… I can’t remember if I ever had a real conversation with her. Does that make me a bad grandchild?”

“Probably. But most are.”

“Her maiden name was Staunton.”


“Wait, wait. She was born on Mackinac Island. Uh… they met in high school, but broke up. They wound up both attending Eastern Michigan University. She was a schoolteacher and later some kind of administrator. She basically retired after mom-.” My mouth goes dry.

“Then you came along.” Kevin already knows my story. Hell - most people I meet know my story before they know I’m the main character. Changing my name did nothing, in the end.

“Yeah. She raised another kid in that house before they were finally able to sell it and move us here.” I take a long sip of my coffee. It’s cold. “Why do you think she ran off, Kev? Where would she go?”

“Dunno. Only thing I know for certain is that your grandma ain’t who you think she is.” He pulls a folded envelope out of his coat pocket and hands it to me. “DNA analysis got nothing, but we got something on an ancestral site.”

As I read the results, I know that wherever Mary Staunton is, she’s been dead a long time.

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